Combustible Celluloid

Who the Devil Made It?, by Peter Bogdanovich

This Is Orson Welles, by Peter Bogdanovich

Review by Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Who the Devil Made It?, by Peter Bogdanovich.

Buy This Is Orson Welles, by Peter Bogdanovich.

Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show) was always the first to say that he was never a film critic. He got into the game simply to meet directors and talk to them about their technique so that he himself could become a director. Who the Devil Made It is a rich collection ranging from in-depth interviews with Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and Fritz Lang, to short interviews with Josef von Sternberg, Raoul Walsh, and Frank Tashlin, to interviews with nearly-forgotten B-movie directors like Joseph H. Lewis and Edgar G. Ulmer. This Is Orson Welles (edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum) is a book-length interview with Welles alone. Bogdanovich is a superb interviewer, and not only gets the juicy gossip, but also the technique, the style, and the craft of each director. (Bogdanovich also did a book-length interview with John Ford that I have not been able to find yet.)

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